“Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1 (ESV)
As humans, it’s natural for us to gravitate towards the familiar. Even after a shakeup in our lives, we always return to the comfort of the old routines, following the way we are used to living as we had before.
But what if you received Word from God, telling you to go wherever He tells you?
God gave such a command to Abram. He did not specify a place, but simply told him to go to the land that He will show him.
Although Abram was not familiar with a place that God would show him, Abram was familiar with God.
Are we familiar with God? Or are we more familiar with what we see, the general life we tend to live daily, the routines we unconsciously or religiously devote ourselves to?
When we become familiar with God, we tend to gravitate more to Him. As we grow closer in our relationship, growing to know Him more, we become more dependent on Him.
This is the kind of progress we need to have in our lives, the kind of trust that Abram had in God.
He calls each of us into the same journey as Abram did – maybe not into a new country, but definitely out of our comfort zones. My hope and prayer is that you will follow His calling, that your faith will not fail – for He who holds you in His hands is faithful.
Let’s begin each day with prayer and praise to follow Him. Do not fear – He who began this good work in you will finish it (Philippians 1:6)!
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” – Ephesians 2:10 NLT
I’ve been asked several times at different points in my life this one question that had always vexed me. “Describe yourself in one word. What would it be?”
As always, when asked, I struggled to find the answer. The problem is, my identity was always changing. Before, I was a hearing person; now I am a deaf person. Previously, I was a Kumdo student. Now I am learning basic Krav Maga.
How do I define and describe myself? Which parts of myself do I see as a more defining area of my life? My career? I am currently pursuing a teaching degree. My family relationships? I am a daughter and a sister. My disability? I am deaf. My ability? I can speak clearly. Who am I really?
Paul confidentially declares in Ephesians 1:1 and other letters: “I am an apostle of Christ Jesus.” His identity was Christ and Christ alone.
What does this even mean? I have been pondering over that question more frequently as the years pass by. I thought of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). I mulled over His perfect obedience to Father’s will. Then I realized this.
Christ is the cornerstone of our Christian faith. He came to serve, not to be served. He knew what his foreordained purpose was: to give His life as a ransom for all (Matthew 20:28). Christ is our Redeemer! (Galatians 3:13-14; Ephesians 1:7, etc.).
And so now when I reflect on that question, today, I can confidentially say without hesitation in one word:
The Poor Widow’s Offering
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”” – Mark 12:41-44 NIV
It was during Thanksgiving week. Up until now, I’ve been living well. I’ve always had a roof over my head, and never went hungry. I was able to complete my college education, and looking back, I see that the Lord has indeed been good to me. I never lacked opportunities for work.
In this, I am blessed.
While watching people give offerings and tithes to God, I was reminded of this verse.
No matter what happens, my hope and prayer is that I will never forget God – His goodness, His abundance, even in times of desperate need. May I follow the widow’s example – even in need, Lord, I pray that I will always honor You first with all I am and with all I have.
The list is growing!! What are you thankful for?
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone.” – Luke 18:19 NIV
I feel like laughing every time someone says they are a good person. Isn’t that what everyone in the world believes of themselves (and to some degree – of others)?
Jesus was making a point when He responded to a religious leader (who would have been well regarded as a “good” man) calling Him “good” teacher.
We all have our own standards of what makes a “good” person. And the truth is – those standards do not mean anything. A rapist can consider himself a good person, because he is not as bad as murderer. A white collar criminal may consider himself good, because at least he does not commit violent crimes.
In the end, the more you think about it, the more you will realize that our belief of our own goodness comes from comparing ourselves to others. It comes from what we perceive to be the greater evil, of pointing fingers at those we consider to be in morally worse state than ourselves.
The only standard of who is good – is God alone.
How good we are?
Perfection is overrated. Perfection is unrealistic. Each of us have our own understanding of what constitutes perfection – standards that are unattainable – which are imposed on situations, people and selves.
The idea of perfection varies. In the end, it comes down to our own perceptions. What is ideal in our own eyes.
I think there should be only one standard of perfection for Christians: Jesus Christ.
Why was He perfect?
Simple. He did not sin. No wrong was found in Him (Hebrews 4:15).
Unfortunately, we tend to hold others to our ideas of perfection. And when those standards are not met – some of us tend to become … well … not someone we want to be around.
The point is that we don’t approach God because we are perfect in our own eyes. We approach God because we are not perfect – and through Jesus, we are made holy before God.